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Old 05-24-2022, 07:39 PM   #1
Weekend Pundit
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Post Replacement Trailer Lights/Harness

I have a 1993 Eagle trailer used to haul my 1993 Wellcraft. At the moment I have no trailer lights. The wiring harness is brittle and cannot be patched any more, so I need to replace the harness and, quite likely, the lights.

The trailer is used only 4 times a year: hauling my boat from the ramp to my son's place to remove the gear and clean the boat in early November, hauling my boat from my son's place to the boatyard for winter storage, from the boatyard my son's place to clean the boat and return the gear into the boat, and to haul my boat from my son's place to the town boat ramp to launch my boat in May. This means I have about 7 months to rewire the trailer if not replace the harness and lights before I'll need it again. (I launched my boat yesterday, so the trailer is unburdened at the moment.)

Any suggestions anyone might be able to offer, either for me to find what I need to perform the replacement myself or for a shop that might be able to do so?
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Old 05-24-2022, 08:02 PM   #2
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You can get an LED light kit from Walmart or online.

Pay attention to the shape of the tail lights.

Some trailers have rectangular metal frames where the lights go.

Square lights may not fit well in them so get ones that fit best.

The kit will have a long color coded main wire group and all the lights will need to be splice into it.

The connectors provided are not very good as they allow water to get into the insulation.

Using heat shrink butt connectors instead will extend the life of the wires.

Get the right size which I believe to be colored red.

All grounds need to be really clean bare metal to last.

Get some coarse grit sand paper to use for that.

Use self tapping screws and washers to secure grounds.

You can extend the life of all the LED lights by mushing a generous amount of RTV sealant into the area where the wires go into the light case.

Follow the directions and maybe watch a Youtube video and you will find this task to be fairly easy.

Good luck!

TOOLS/SUPPLIES NEEDED:

Wire cutters
Wire strippers/crimpers
Small wrenches
Maybe a drill with a 5/16" nut driver bit
8 or so 5/16"-3/4" self tapping hex head screws
8 or so 5/16" stainless steel washers
Coarse grit sandpaper
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Old 05-24-2022, 08:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weekend Pundit View Post
I have a 1993 Eagle trailer used to haul my 1993 Wellcraft. At the moment I have no trailer lights. The wiring harness is brittle and cannot be patched any more, so I need to replace the harness and, quite likely, the lights.

The trailer is used only 4 times a year: hauling my boat from the ramp to my son's place to remove the gear and clean the boat in early November, hauling my boat from my son's place to the boatyard for winter storage, from the boatyard my son's place to clean the boat and return the gear into the boat, and to haul my boat from my son's place to the town boat ramp to launch my boat in May. This means I have about 7 months to rewire the trailer if not replace the harness and lights before I'll need it again. (I launched my boat yesterday, so the trailer is unburdened at the moment.)

Any suggestions anyone might be able to offer, either for me to find what I need to perform the replacement myself or for a shop that might be able to do so?

I will.
Nwmi out of meredith
100% set up/mobile/full time & insured for this type of work.
603-520-1662. I wire trailers of all sizes, especially in the spring after rodent damage before snowmobile /boating use

Www.Nwmarineindustries.Com
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Old 05-24-2022, 08:26 PM   #4
Weekend Pundit
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Thumbs up Round

Fortunately the tail lights - running/license plate/brake/turn signal lights - are round and look to have an easily modified external mount. Nothing is recessed. I don't care about the rear or side marker lights.

I'll do as you suggest and see what I can find. Thanks!

As an aside I prefer the LED lights, at least for this application.
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Old 05-25-2022, 04:50 AM   #5
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You can't go wrong with Downeast. Excellent work at reasonable prices.
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Old 05-25-2022, 06:01 AM   #6
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If you decide not to do it yourself, as stated above, Nick at NWMI is excellent.

He has completely wired two boats for me and done other installations such as power canvas on a boat. Good work at a fair price and very easy to work with.
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Old 05-25-2022, 12:13 PM   #7
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Nick is amazing but it sounds like you may benefit from a temp solution like this...https://www.amazon.com/MaxxHaul-8077...078GNDQQH?th=1
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Old 05-25-2022, 01:34 PM   #8
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New Hampshire only requires running lights at night, on a trailer.

This will apply if you drive out of state because your trailer will be properly equipped for the state it's registered in. (You might still get stopped and hassled.)

I only referenced these points for informational purposes since my read is that you are too smart to not reduce your risks.

After changing my trailer lights once too often, I got a set of magnetic mount lights (like referenced by Vita Bene). I had to extend the length and beam, but they worked fine.

This is a cheap option and very quick to install. It is especially useful as a temporary fix if you drive long-distances and lose a light on the trip. I carried them with me when I took my camper or trash trailer somewhere.

Lots of reflectors or reflective tape won't hurt either.

Good luck!
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Old 05-25-2022, 03:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamper View Post
New Hampshire only requires running lights at night, on a trailer.

This will apply if you drive out of state because your trailer will be properly equipped for the state it's registered in. (You might still get stopped and hassled.)

I only referenced these points for informational purposes since my read is that you are too smart to not reduce your risks.
When you operate in another state they don't care about the laws of the state you are registered in. For example: If you operate a NH registered vehicle in Florida without a state inspection sticker there is no problem. Florida does not have a required vehicle inspection.

In addition to that, a police officer in another state, cannot give you a ticket for violating the laws of your state. They do not have the power to do that. It is only necessary to comply with the laws of the state you are operating in.

And to offer a different perspective: I wouldn't consider it "hassled" if I got stopped for a violation of law, I consider that the police officer is doing his/her job.
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Old 05-27-2022, 06:13 PM   #10
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Thumbs up Great!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Downeast View Post
I will.
Nwmi out of meredith
100% set up/mobile/full time & insured for this type of work.
603-520-1662. I wire trailers of all sizes, especially in the spring after rodent damage before snowmobile /boating use

Www.Nwmarineindustries.Com
Thanks for the pointer! I'll check it out.
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Old 07-04-2022, 05:48 AM   #11
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Default Zip strips

No science in trailer lights. As stated Walmart has the full kit I think both round and square plus LEDs.

It's a matter of how concerned you are about aesthetics. You don't have to go through the trailer frame. You can lay it right out in a V and zip strip to the frame. The 2 holes for the lights are predrilled. You want to check what you have on your vehicle either round or flat so you can buy the round end piece if you need to.

The ground will come from the vehicle and either go to both lights or bolt/screw to the trailer after the trailer plug.

You may be surprisingly satisfied with your work plus you understand it next time they malfunction.

I have blown fuses on old trailers backing in the water I usually unplug before submerging.
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Old 07-04-2022, 10:05 AM   #12
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Default Tractor Supply

Tractor Supply in Gilford would be another great place to get everything you need for redoing your trailer lights.

Dan
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Old 07-04-2022, 07:59 PM   #13
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Default Second Tractor Supply

I bought replacement trailer lights for my utility trailer. Easy job replacing the original. Work great.

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